SR

Nordic Council in the Balkan way

In the Balkans, Euroscepticism is a means to maintain a system of government and political behavior, including those in power who benefit most from it. In some countries, this is more or less pronounced, with Serbia and Macedonia leading the list – this was said, among other things, last Thursday, at a rally organized by the Peace and Crises Management Foundation of businessman Boris Vukobrat, who has been living in Paris for years. The reason for the one-day scientific conference was to commemorate the Foundation's two decades of work, stemming from the desire to prevent the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, where, unfortunately, as it was known and, after all, "self-critically" noted at the meeting, there was no success.

Of course, this is also clear today, for the simple reason that it could not have been prevented by much larger forces than an NGO. However, despite being "pessimistic of the spirit", the counselors proved to be "optimists of the will", because the main topic of the conversation was not a lament over the past lost battles, but a look ahead to new forms and possibilities of connecting the republics of the former Yugoslavia. The composition of the people who responded to the invitation to speak on this topic was impressive: Mojmir Mrak (Ljubljana), Žarko Puhovski and Zoran Pušiž (Zagreb), Zdravko Grebo (Sarajevo), Veselin Vukotić (Podgorica), Azem Vlasi (Priština), Vladimir Gligorov (Beč), Vojislav Stanovčić, Danica Popović, Ilija Vujačić, Vukašin Pavlović (Belgrade) - to name just a few.

Of course, the situation is now significantly different and more complicated: Slovenia is now member of the European Union, Croatia is about to become one, while other ex-Yu countries are closer to or further from this goal, and Serbia, for which we are, of course, most interested here – is at the furthest spot from that objective. There were a lot of ideas of new forms of integration of ex-Yu space, but no less argumentation were given on why this was difficult to achieve.

For example, Zoran Pušić simply pointed out, as a good example, not more nor less than that, the Nordic Council, which includes Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, some EU members, some not, one NATO member, some not, but cooperating around common interests. Zdravko Grebo replied that the example was excellent but unrealistic at the moment. The market was emphasized as the main integrative factor, a field of economic cooperation which is becoming more and more pronounced, but, on the other hand, it was pointed out that it would not be able to do it alone, i.e. without an administrative - political "umbrella", that is, the will to settle and pacify political and legal relations between the countries of the region.